Blog Post

Weekly HubFeed: Facebook Algorithm Changes: Friends & Family First


Join us for the weekly HubFeed where we unpack this week's digital marketing news for small business. This week we will be discussing Facebook's updates to their news feed. Will Small Biz benefit or not from this change?

Also available on YouTube.

Hello and welcome to the weekly HubFeed, where we unpack the important digital marketing news for small business. I'm Chad Hill and I'm joined by Adam Stetzer. Today we're gonna be covering Facebook algorithm changes, friends and family will be moving to the first position. If you have a Facebook business page, you know the challenge of getting people to engage with your posts, and it's about to become more challenging as Facebook rolls out its new changes to its news feed ranking algorithm.

Yeah, Chad this is a great topic today. Getting noticed at Facebook is a big deal, it's a crowded place. And so, you mentioned this algorithm. I want to cover quite a few stats here and then get into this conversation. There are over 1.6 billion monthly active users on Facebook and there are more than 2.5 million advertisers on Facebook. So, obviously the secret is out and people are here with over 50 million small and medium-sized business pages.

So, there's competition to try to get in front of people. About 41% of small businesses in the U.S. use Facebook and, Chad, this is really interesting, it's becoming a more popular place than YouTube for running video ads, and I'm sure Google is not too happy about that. Users spend on average about 50 minutes each day on the platform, and every time the average user logs into Facebook, there's over 1500 posts on average that could potentially appear in their news feed and this is where that algorithm you mentioned comes in. If the person has a lot of friends, hundreds of friends even, then that number really skyrockets to somewhere like 10 or 15,000.

So Facebook has been evolving this algorithm to decide what should appear in the users' news feed. They want to make the news feed manageable and relevant and what we've learned is that what appears to show in your news feed is very tailored to each individual. It's based on previous engagement and activity among you and your friends activities and that this algorithm is being evolved by Facebook fairly aggressively based on feedback. And what this means is that, as they move more and more towards pay-to-play, that organic reach has actually been decreasing for years, Chad. And this is really interesting. Studies have indicated that the average organic reach for a post on Facebook can be as low as 2% now.

Right, and it's about to get a lot more challenging for Facebook pages. And I should also just note for the viewers today that we have a lot of this data and the infographic in the link here in the description, so feel free to click through and get a lot of the data that Adam has just gone over. But Facebook announced at the end of June that it's rolling out a new ranking change to place the content of friends and family first. And over the years, the platform had shifted away from some of its original purpose where it was all about connecting friends and family, and in fact, Facebook now is driving more traffic to new sites than Google itself.

So, 41.4% of web traffic to new sites is now coming from Google versus 39.5%, so pretty big change there. And now, we see it taking a turn to put friends and family first because that's what feedback from Facebook users has said they want to do. Facebook has said that publishers can expect their reach to go down a small amount, but it will be noticeable. So, really what does this mean for small businesses? I mean small businesses typically aren't big news sites. Well, it's gonna mean that you're gonna need to find new ways to engage your audience and the more people that like and comment and react and share your post, the better your reach for a lot of the reasons that Adam talked about.

You're gonna be getting into that available content to be shared. It's definitely a bit of a chicken and egg thing, which can be challenging. Each news feed is unique and it's guided by the interactions of each user that each user has with their friends and with pages. So, one solution there is that you can promote your posts and, in fact, 75% of brands now are using Facebook paid promotion or boosting posts for the exact reason that Adam mentioned that that organic reach has gone down so much, to 2%. The number of brands, 75% of brands, is a 120% increase since 2013. So, Facebook has been growing their advertising business significantly over the last few years.

And that number, of course, is gonna increase as brands and pages and businesses start to see less reach with this new algorithm tweak. There'll be more people entering the promoted Facebook posts outside of the market. So, we have in our post a few extra... If you click through our website, we have a couple of tricks and tips on how to manage the content in your news feed and once again we'd like to just thank you for your time today. If you like this content, feel free to follow us on YouTube so that you get notified of our upcoming updates. Thank you.